What is your Astro-Retina?
by Mark Pottenger
Some recent very one-track postings on a mailing list got me
thinking about astrological techniques.
Someone persisted in claiming that if astrological technique A gave
valid answers, technique B based on different math could not also give valid
As I understand astrology, all views of the sky produce
usable symbolism. You can look at the ecliptic, the equator, the local
meridian, horizon, prime vertical, etc.
You can use tropical, precessed tropical and dozens of sidereal
calculations. You can use planets,
invented planets and moons, asteroids, comets, stars, etc. No matter how you choose to represent
the universe, meaning can always be found. Even a chart calculated for incorrect birthdata can produce
As many self-help teachers like to say, it isn't what
happens that matters, it is how you interpret what happens that matters.
There are so many ways that we can depict and describe the
sky that no astrologer can, at a practical level, use all techniques. The possible printouts for a single
individual can run to hundreds of pages from various programs (over 30 pages
per chart just to list named asteroids), and there are still unique techniques
that some astrologers do manually because nobody has programmed them yet. All astrologers must pick and choose
which techniques they will use.
The best way to do this is to test various techniques against your own
chart and life and those of family and close friends that you know well. If a particular technique doesn’t
seem to work for you, don't worry about itthere are lots of other
techniques to try. Some people
find transits useful, some people work better with progressions, some people
use returns regularly, and so on.
Everyone has favorite house systems. No matter how many techniques you try, the ones that work
for you should give clarifications and amplifications of the same themes. If many techniques are giving you many
divergent messages, something is out of focus. Important issues should be visible in repeated variations in
all your techniques.
Don't limit yourself to following one teacher (though
you will find value in whoever you studythe universe is so constructed
that you wouldn’t study them otherwise), create your own amalgam of many
teachings. This could be compared
to a prescription for glasses, but the complexity and individuality leads me to
prefer the analogy in the title.
Just as each person has unique fingerprints and retina prints, each
astrologer has a unique combination of techniques that works best for him or
her. Don't take someone
else's word for how to look at the universediscover for yourself
how you can get your clearest vision.